Do you have one or more missing teeth? Are your teeth extremely decayed or damaged and need to be extracted? Having missing teeth can affect more than just your appearance; most patients experience issues with speaking and chewing as well. When teeth are missing, a patient is also at an increased risk for teeth shifting and even additional tooth loss.
So what exactly can you do if you have missing teeth? At our Belvidere dental office, we are proud to offer both dentures and dental implants for patients that are interesting in restoring the appearance and functionality of their smile. Depending upon your oral health, budget, and ultimate dental goals, either option can be a great choice.
Dentures for Replacing Missing Teeth
Dentures have literally been around for centuries, and although they have advanced over time, their purpose has remained the same. Dentures are a removable dental appliance used to replace missing teeth in the patient’s mouth, restoring their ability to chew and speak correctly, along with decreasing the risk of bone loss and teeth shifting. They are designed to look and function similarly to a natural smile.
Dentures are custom-made to fit your mouth comfortably and are typically held in place using adhesive solutions. Keep in mind that these adhesives do occasionally wear off, resulting in the denture coming loose, so you may need to reapply the adhesive before wear. We recommend removing dentures before bed each day and soaking them for cleaning. A set of dentures typically lasts 5-10 years with proper care.
Dental Implants for Tooth Replacement
Dental implants are a newer advancement in the dental industry, allowing a dentist to replace a patient’s missing teeth permanently. Dental implants are made of three parts: the implant, the abutment, and the prosthetic. A small titanium implant that serves as an artificial root will be attached to the jawbone. The abutment is used to attach either a prosthetic crown or an “overdenture.” Unlike dentures, implants look, feel, and function just like a natural set of teeth, and no adhesives are needed to keep them in place.
Depending on your preference, oral health, and available bone, single implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, or an overdenture can be used to replace entire arches of teeth. Dental implants are typically more expensive than dentures, but they are made to last a lifetime.